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Whether it’s adapting to new technology, having exceptional customer service procedures or unique marketing tactics every agent has his or her own approach to growing their business. With that said, it’s uncommon for agents and business owners that have become successful to share their secrets with just anyone.

Luckily for you, Jimmy Mackin had a little one-one-time with two of these self-made real estate super stars during an interview at NAR 2013. Laurie Weston Davis, co-founder of Geeky Girls, and Linda Davis, owner of Ledyard Realty, have both created one of a kind real estate businesses and actively share the steps that it took to create them with real estate professionals around the country.

 Homes.com is here to share how Laurie and Linda have gone against the grain to create their unique businesses and how you can use these same strategies to ensure your success in 2014! We have highlighted the questions that Jimmy asked Laurie and Linda during this discussion panel and summarized their answers to help you better understand how you can apply these secrets to your own business.

 “What impact has being an early adapter has had on their business and is there a certain level of risk and uncertainty with being an early adapter” 

Staying up on the latest technology and trends has played a key role in Laurie and Linda’s success, making them accomplished early adapters. What’s an early adapter? It’s a person or business that starts using a technology or product as soon as it becomes available, usually far before most of society.

Laurie explains that the Geeky Girls, a tech oriented company, is always on the cutting edge of all the new stuff. “We call them Geeky Girl approved products and they all don’t work for our business, but they could work for companies with other strategies.”

How it Can Help You: If you try a new tool that’s outside of your normal cache and it fails, don’t let it discourage you from trying the next thing that comes around. Not every tool will compliment your business, so always be on the lookout for the ones that do and figure out ways to optimize your use of it.

There are always new products coming out, which means there are always new opportunities to take advantage of. A benefit of being an early adapter is that you can be in closer contact with the people responsible for creating the product, giving you a chance to provide them with ways to make it more effective. If it’s an application specific to the real estate industry, who better to have providing them with feedback than the very people who will be using it?

The downside of being an early adapter is that there is considerable risk involved. Technology can be expensive and as we mentioned above, it doesn’t always work out for the best. Although being an early adapter can be beneficial when you find a product that flows with your business, it doesn’t mean that you should jump on every new tool that comes to market. Like Laurie said, not every tool works with every business.

“A lot of real estate professionals have a mindset that new technology will solve all of their problems, what advice would you to realtors regarding their role in managing the new technology or product to help their business?”

“If your business is crappy then a blog won’t help, you have to make sure you have a good business going before you start adding new technology. “Go belly to belly and communicate with customers in many different ways (both new and old fashioned) to build a solid business before adding new technology tools” says Linda. She continues by saying that if you were to use a pie chart to illustrate her businesses’ use of new and traditional methods of marketing, it would be “50/50”. She emphasizes that core business strategies like being able to connect consumers with a simple phone call. should make up just as much of your business as the newest technology do.

How it Can Help You: Technology can certainly help you grow, but only after you’ve done the legwork to establish a solid foundation for your business. Technology can’t fix poor management or ineffective marketing and sales tactics but once you’ve created a system that does work, technology can help you improve on it.

If you have a poor website, it will take time and money to fix it. Once you have done this then you can use apps and tools to help expose it to your clients and prospects, thus creating more leads for your business.

Or maybe you don’t have a good referral process, all the technology in the world wont provide you with clients willing to give testimonials. If you create a system of obtaining these testimonials, which we will discuss in the next edition of this series, you can then use different apps to better manage the testimonials you’ve collected. In short, don’t rely on technology to create a successful business for you. Although the common misconception is that new apps can solve any problems that may surface, they’re only there to help manage the solution that you’ve come up with.

Come back next week when Homes.com will reveal the more secrets behind Laurie and Linda’s success. Check out the following articles to find summaries of other educational sessions from NAR 2013!

14 Apps You Need to Succeed

3 Steps to Winning “The Zero Moment of Truth” with Valuable Content

Put People First in 2014: 5 Resolutions for Success